Successfully Kickstarted virtual reality treadmill Omni has told backers outside of the US that they will not receive their device.
Having assessed the logistics of shipping the 80kg unit overseas, Virtuix has concluded that it isn't really achievable. As a result, non-US backers are to receive a refund, plus three per cent interest for every year the device was on pre-order.
The Omni's production cost grew to more than three times our initial estimate. Logistics became equally complicated. The Omni ships in a large 48” x 43” box (123cm x 110cm) on a wooden pallet and comes with additional packages for Omni shoes and other accessories,” a note to backers explained.
In the last few months we have explored cost effective options to get the Omni distributed and serviced worldwide, which has become increasingly difficult and expensive given the Omni's transformation to a high-end entertainment device. After much internal debate and soul-searching, we have concluded that as a small US based startup, we unfortunately do not have the resources to deliver and service units in every country.
Our dream of shipping the Omni to customers all over the world has proven naive and unfeasible. Internationally, our goal is to work with distributors for commercial markets such as VR arcades and family entertainment centers where logistics and customer support channels are more established.
We realize this offers little consolation after you committed financially and emotionally to the Omni for several years. No words can adequately express our appreciation for your generous and long-standing support, without which we would not be here today. We assure you that we have not given up on our dream. We will continue our efforts to expand our distribution markets, and we hope one day to be able to deliver an Omni to you. However, we do not deem it appropriate to hold on to your funds until that time.”
The Omni was successfully funded in June 2013, smashing its $150k target and raising $485k. It is designed to allow users to walk while remaining stationary on the device.